Country Mapping: Bangladesh

Bangladesh has made remarkable strides in human development since independence with noteworthy increases in life expectancy, primary education enrollment, sanitation and access to safe water. However, progress has been uneven and certain sectors lag behind; weak governance, inadequate infrastructure, limited economic diversification, and the looming impact of climate change are important and immediate challenges. Religious and development institutions in Bangladesh play distinctive and intersecting roles that affect many dimensions of social, economic, and political development. Since the 1990s, religious actors have competed with secular NGOs for space in Bangladesh’s crowded civil society by forming grassroots charities and civil society organizations. The complex dynamics between faith communities and development actors are important and understudied. The Religion and Development: Country-Level Mapping project, conducted jointly by the World Faiths Development Dialogue and the Berkley Center, aims to fill in gaps in knowledge regarding the roles religious actors play in development at this critical juncture in Bangladesh’s history.
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